Choose Strength and Happiness

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Happiness is a conscious choice 

In my last blog, I argued that strength and resilience are keys to a happy, successful life.

I noted the obvious: that life deals us much adversity — some small obstacles, some huge roadblocks — and that choosing strength and resilience in the face of life’s many adversities will help us live a happier, more fulfilling, more healthful, and fun-packed life.

Strength and resilience are conscious choices.

By choosing to meet adversity with strength and resilience, you can short cut through a lot of pain and suffering.

By no means do I mean to suggest that we should ignore our pain or bury feelings or not grieve when we suffer losses. But we should not wallow in them, either.

I see a great many people that seem to choose pain and suffering as a lifestyle. They wallow in self-pity — that is, they remain stuck in their pain and suffering for years on end.

Pain and suffering are a part of life.

Period.

It’s hard to avoid them.

So, accept that fact. There will be hardships in your life. You’re not alone. Everyone suffers like you.

Pain and suffering are great teachers. You can learn much from them. For example, you can learn how much someone meant to you or how vulnerable we are to the insults or whims of others.

I know. I have suffered long and hard over the years, but the one thing I’ve learned from these experiences is that I came out stronger and more resilient and a little smarter from my brushes with adversity.

That realization alone eases the pain. Tell yourself, “Something good will come out of this.” Then smile a little.

The other thing I’ve learned is that there will be an end to your pain and suffering. It won’t last forever.

To me, that’s always been a reassurance, and I think it’s helped me through many hard times. Knowing that someday it will all be over and that I’ll emerge stronger and smarter and a little bit better able to cope with life’s trials and tribulations has, for many years, provided a bit of salve for my temporarily wounded spirit.

That salve has helped me recover much more quickly. I felt less helpless, more hopeful. It has made me more resilient.

Keep these thoughts in your mind daily or when adversity rears its ugly head:

1. Life will deal me adversity.

2. I will learn from it.

3. I will recover from it. I always do.

4. I will emerge stronger and better able to cope.

5. I’m consciously choosing strength and resilience. In so doing, I’m choosing happiness.

6. My strength and resilience will grow.

Slowly, but surely, you will build a stronger, better and more successful you.

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Contributing editor Dan Chiras is a renewable energy and green homes expert who has spent a lifetime learning life’s lessons, which he shares in his popular blog, Dan Chiras on Loving Life. He’s the founder and director of The Evergreen Institute and president of Sustainable Systems Design. Contact him by visiting his website or finding him on .